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My cousin is getting married in Sainte Maxime next month. The invitation says Black Tie, and I am unsure of the appropriate attire for myself and my wife. Has anyone any experience of a black tie wedding and willing to offer some advice. I have looked it up, but some sites say it's different for warmer climates, and a cocktail dress or a full length dress for the woman. Merci d'avance.


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The critical point is the time of day that this takes place, and what the event is afterwards.  For men, Black Tie means a black bow tie with a piqué (Marcella) front shirt with an ordinary turned-down collar.  Absolutely not wing collar, despite certain modern trends !  Black trousers.  The jacket (what some call a dinner jacket, not tails !) may be black or off-white (the best are in cloth known as sharkskin).  You should check whether white jackets are acceptable to your cousin - if you wear black, you will never be wrong. 

For women, if the event is a cocktail event which may go on to dinner, but no dance, then a cocktail dress would be appropriate.  If there is dinner and dance, then long would be the thing to wear.

None of this would really be correct before about 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening.

However :  whilst the above is ultra correct, these days you will see all sorts of variations on a theme.  For example, you will see women wearing short dresses at a ball. 

Whatever you decide to wear, do it with confidence and have fun !

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Thanks ever so much for that. It is an evening occasion, dinner and dance and the wedding is at 5pm.  What then would be the absolute, no mistake attire for my wife and I to wear. We live in the country, 04, walk in the mountains, outside people, and I just want to be spot on with this, especially as part of the invitation makes a reference to people coming by helicopter! It means nothing to me, but I just want to be comfortable in the environment I am in for the evening. Be specific, Merci D'avance
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Hi Swallowtail

For you :  A smart dark suit with ordinary flat tie would be suitable

for the wedding ceremony.  For dinner:  Dinner jacket (black) and black

trousers, white piqué shirt with

ordinary collar and bow tie (not elastic - you can spot them !).  Nice

pair of black evening shoes, well polished !

Pour madame :  A short dress and hat for the wedding, and then change

into a long dress for the evening.  This can be cool and comfortable. 

I understand exactly what you mean - but you cannot go wrong with the above and you will blend in perfectly !

I do not know if it is possible to hire a DJ here in France.  I have

seen some awful "wedding suits" in photographers' windows here ! !   If you cannot hire one in the UK (try Moss Bros in London) perhaps via internet, I suggest you try a large town and see what they have for hire.  If you have a chance to go somewhere like Nice or Cannes, I'm sure you would find somewhere that will have the correct clothing.  But as my husband has his own DJ etc, we have never actually had to investigate the possibities here.  Perhaps someone else on this Forum would have some ideas??

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Hi again Swallowtail !

I have just had a quick look on internet and it doesn't look as if Moss Bros hire out of the UK.  However, I have found that if you ask about a "Tuxedo" which is the American word, you will find that it is probably better known than the term "DJ" !

I found the following website, which could be of interest :

Tuxedo Rental for Weddings in France. In all major French cities such as Paris, Nice or Lyon, tuxedos can be rented. Small towns will require that you bring ...

www.weddingsinfrance.com/services/rent_tuxedos.html -

The other thing that I forgot is that some people will refer to a dinner jacket (which includes the trousers) as a dinner suit.  Basically if you type in Tuxedo+rental+france you should be able to find something.

Best of luck and have a great time !

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